This is the third entry in our ongoing series, “How to Improve Your Sales”. In Part 1 we discussed “Winning More Business.” In Part 2, we were all about “Managing the Sale”. Here, we discuss “Doing The Job Right” and how to make sure a customer is satisfied with the work you’ve performed
Doing the Job Right
Here’s a funny thing, most people don’t actually know how to install or repair glass. That’s why you have a job! But it also means they have very little information to make a judgment about whether you’ve done a proper glass installation or repair. In fact, a customer’s judgement of whether or not your shop has done a good job may have a lot less to do with the quality of your work than you think.
We combed through tons of user reviews for auto, residential, and even some commercial glass shops on several business listing sites. And we looked for trends in positive and negative reviews that go beyond the obvious – timeliness, correct parts, job performed correctly, etc. From this, we created a list of the top 3 do’s and don’ts for glass installation and repair.
1. Respect the Customer AND Their Property
Always remember the golden rule, treat others as you would want to be treated. This applies to a customer’s property and vehicle as well!. We came across numerous reviews from customers who did not trust a shop based for reasons such as leaving a job site messy, showing up late, smoking near or on their property, or having inappropriate conversations. Consistently these customers did not trust the work done by the shop and said they would not return. They rarely mentioned the quality of the work, meaning they made judgments solely on the respect (or lack thereof) they received.
A great job done by a disrespectful tech who shows no concern for a customer or their property, is worth just as much mediocre or poor job to a large majority of customers.
2. Educate the Customer on What You’re Doing
As mentioned above, most customers don’t know a heck of a lot about glass. People want to know what you are doing and why. Remember, a customer’s car or their house are very likely the two most valuable things they own. They are going to have questions about what you are doing to them!
Take a few minutes to talk to a customer about what you are doing and why. Explain the process, the materials, things they should watch out for in the future, any warranties that apply, etc. You can create confidence and understanding when you educate customers, it serves as a social proof that shows them that you have the skills and the know-how to do the job right.
Something important to remember here. You do this every day, what seems obvious to you, might not be to customers, make sure you are educating customers in a way that makes them feel smart and informed.
3. Make Sure the Customer Remembers Your Name
One of the most common trends we found in our research was that positive reviewers often mentioned an employee by name. Someone who made them feel special or well taken care of. This may seem like a big ask, but if you follow the two do’s discussed above, this should basically take care of itself.
By being respectful and informative to a customer while completing the job you have done half the of the legwork already.
1. Don’t Appear Uninterested in the Job
It’s likely that a house and a car are a customer’s two most valuable possessions. To them, glass repair or installation can be a huge deal. To you, it’s Tuesday. That’s a huge disconnect, and it’s easy for a customer to interpret an “I’ve done this a million times” attitude as a sign of disinterest or lack of concern about them and the job.
Maybe you have replaced a windshield in 4 Subaru Outbacks this week and you’ve got one more at 4:30pm on a Friday. It may be the same job, but this is a new customer and each one is just as important as the last. You may not be able to get excited about this job, here’s a secret, sometimes great customer service just means faking it. It’s “Don’t APPEAR uninterested in the job” not “Don’t be uninterested.”
By taking time with each customer, and letting them know their job is important, you can avoid losing trust and actually create added value with exceptional customer service. Remember the DO’s; Respect, Educate, Make them remember you. Follow through with promises and guarantees, be on time to appointments, communicate with the customer if there is a change; in short just do what you say you will do and you will consistently create happy customers.
2. Don’t Talk Down to a Customer or Make Them Feel Unimportant
No one wants to feel unimportant, uninformed, or least of all: stupid. Especially by someone whom they are paying to do a job or provide a service. We have already discussed the need to educate customers, but it’s important to keep in mind that there is a right way and a wrong way to do that.
When you are educating your customers and answering their questions, you need to communicate with them on their level. You need to be able to explain things to a person that does not have a working knowledge of glass, they may ask a lot of silly questions, be patient and informative.
Customers have put their trust in you, don’t tarnish that when they look to you for knowledge just because you feel a question is beneath you. That’s not to say there are no stupid questions, we know there are. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to answer them, so spend an extra minute and give them the foundation they need to feel good about the job you are doing for them.
3. Don’t Show a Lack of Concern
Empathy is one of the most important skills in a customer facing industry. Customers who to come to shop because their window broke or their windshield needs to be replaced are very stressed and showing a lack of concern for their needs can be one of the quickest ways to an unhappy customer.
Acknowledge the stress the customer may be dealing with when they come to your shop. Really listen to what the customer has to say and the story behind the job. It’s not just a broken window, it could be the result of a burglary, the aftermath of a previously botched job, etc. If you don’t take an extra minute to listen to a customer and show true concern for their needs, you have no hope of making them feel like you did the best job for them
It’s Not Just About the Job Itself
Doing the job right goes beyond simple things like timeliness and quality of work. It is all about making a connection with your customers. We also encourage you to do some research on your own. Find your shop’s reviews online read what your customers are saying. Over time, you will be able to see your shop from their perspective and you will be able to modify and adapt how you do business to better fit the needs of your customers.